The analysis of knowledge, beliefs, thoughts and uses of insects by human culture in ethnoentomological studies provides us an opportunity to better understand the life of ethnic group being studied. In terms of ethnoentomological studies, Pakistan is a blank state on the quilt of global research. Although house flies are major public health and veterinary pests, little information is available on the relationship between humans and different aspects of house flies. In the present study, knowledge and perceptions about the house fly, its associated problems, mode of disease transmission, and prevention measures in dairy farming communities were assessed. Understanding local knowledge in the field of ethnobiology could be a strong tool in community health. Since biomedical healthcare, both in quality and quantity, is usually lacking in poor communities, local knowledge could fill the gap between the need of health facilities and their provision in situ. For example, Panghal et al.  demonstrated the importance of indigenous plant knowledge by the people of Haryana, India, by showing that the communities who had better knowledge of plants also had better management of snakebites.
Our results indicate that the respondents from the four localities in Punjab, Pakistan did not have sufficient knowledge on problems associated with house flies despite the fact of being very common pest in urban and rural settlements. Although some farmers were aware that house flies could transmit diseases in animals, only a small fraction had the knowledge of specific diseases and their transmission mode. Despite the fact of a large number of diseases transmitted by house flies [6, 12, 20], only the two were mentioned which revealed very poor knowledge of the farming community. Lack of disease knowledge with the majority of the subjects is a matter of concern for the adoption of preventive measures. There was also a lack of knowledge about mode of disease transmission. Even this knowledge at the community level would be encouraging because preventive measures against the house fly might remain the same (proper removal of human and animal excreta, sanitation etc.). It is important for farming communities to be aware of these facts.
The awareness of house flies’ breeding sites, active time and preventive tools are essential components to reduce chances of the house fly-human or house fly-food contacts. In the present study, filth of all types and human excreta as common breeding places were known to some of the respondents. Whereas, sanitation and the use of specific plants were cited by most of the respondents as preventive tools. At the farm level, house flies could be controlled effectively by the reduction and/or elimination of breeding habitats [11, 12]. Farm animals and animal manures are an important part of the rural environment and both cannot be segregated. Resultantly, animal manures provide ideal habitats for fly breeding; therefore, there is a dire need to educate dairy farmers about best management practices for farmyard manures so that fly breeding could be minimized. In ethnobotanical context, two plants, Mentha spp. and A. indica, were cited by the respondents as preventive tools against house flies. Although synthetic insecticides could help to manage house flies, some side effects to the environment and development of insecticide resistance in house flies [21, 22] focus on the need to explore alternative insecticides. A. indica essential oils have insecticidal potential and used previously to manage house flies and other pests in different parts of the world . Sound knowledge of plants in community health could be very helpful particularly in cases where mainstream health care is often lacking. For example, Gonzalez et al.  reported the importance of indigenous plant knowledge by showing that the traditional plant knowledge could be very effective in the management of vectors of emerging diseases (e.g., flies and mosquitoes) without harming the environment. Therefore, there is a need to update the ethnobotanical knowledge of local people in relation to environment friendly techniques for house flies management.
Almost all the respondents either stored farm manure in open fields or threw it in open fields. The majority of the respondents did not have latrines in their compound and they usually used to defecate in open fields. The manure and human excreta in open environment may provide conducive breeding places for the expansion of house flies and could result in the future epidemics of different diseases. Although the level of knowledge and perception about house flies was moderate among dairy farmers, we have little evidence that this knowledge was brought into practice in terms of preventive measures. The results revealed that the education level and knowledge of the breeding sites in our study had a positive and significant effect on the adoption of prevention practices; whereas knowledge of the problems associated with house flies and preventive measures had no effect on house flies prevention measures. The results clearly indicate weak associations between overall house fly knowledge score and adoption of preventive measures. Having a good knowledge about a particular subject does not necessarily lead to practice, since it is difficult to change the behavior of a person . Since little information related to ethnobiology in general and ethnoentomology in particular is being delivered to the Pakistani school students through their school curricula, the students or the communities are hard to be cautious about different insect pests or insect borne diseases [personal observation]. Recently, a little information about dengue fever and dengue mosquito has been added in school curricula after the occurrence of a severe epidemic in Punjab, in 2011. The incorporation of ethnobiological knowledge, thoughts and practices in school curricula, both in the form of folksongs or storytelling, can be helpful for the well being of developing generation and can put scientific learning within its traditional context [25, 26]
The use of convenience sampling makes the generalisability of the study limited. The sample was drawn from small scale farmers only, the findings may not be generalisable to all categories of farmers defined by IFCN. However, since dairy farms were not specified in a particular area  and considering the study’s constraints of time and cost, the above said sampling scheme was more feasible than probability sampling. Despite limitations, the findings of the present survey have important implications for the management of house flies, particularly in rural environments.